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HP, Iberdrola and Rio Tinto Top List of Climate-Leading Companies

The release of the fifth annual report from the Climate Disclosure Project selects 68 companies that are leading the charge against climate change. The group also found that 77 percent of the world's 500 largest companies are reporting greenhouse gas emissions data.

This year's report from the CDP, a collaboration of over 300 institutional investors that manage more than $41 trillion in assets, is a landmark for the number of responses to its annual survey. The CDP questionnaire asks companies from both the Financial Times 500 list and the Standard & Poor's 500 list to evaluate the risks each company faces from climate change, strategies developed to address those risks, and the annual amount of greenhouse gases emitted by each company.

"The big thing this year is the huge increase in the level of seriousness with which climate change is being incorporated into the corporate strategy of companies," said Paul Dickinson, the CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project.

In addition to releasing the report, the CDP also announced the creation of its Climate Disclosure Leadership Index, an honor roll of companies that are distinguished in their climate change reporting and strategies. The list selects companies from 29 sectors developed by Innovest, and ranks them based on the quality of their carbon disclosure.

Topping the list with perfect-100 scores were computer manufacturer Hewlett-Packard, Spanish utility company Iberdrola, English mining conglomerate Rio Tinto and Australian bank Westpac. Sixty-four other companies made the list from sectors including automobiles, chemicals, utilities, steel, banking, food and beverages, health care and insurance.

Seventy-seven percent of FT500 global companies responded to this year's survey, and 80 percent of respondents said that climate change presents risks to their operations. Of those companies, fully 95 percent have begun GHG reduction programs, compared with just 48 percent having done so last year.

The results from the Standard & Poor list of companies, which are by and large American enterprises, shows that the U.S. has "woken up" to climate change. The CDP saw response rate increase across all 10 industry sectors for the S&P list, with 56 percent of all S&P companies responding to the CDP's survey. Although only 29 percent said they have implemented GHG reduction programs with specific targets, the group says this year's survey represents a tipping point.

"We are seeing encouraging signs that companies are moving beyond awareness to action," said Matthew Kiernan, founder and CEO of Innovest. "The CDP report is widely available and heavily read. It has helped drive climate change awareness. The report has become an important part of investors' toolkits."

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